May the Fourth (be with you)

12:45am, May 4th.

Me: I am totally up for watching a Star Wars marathon with you.

Mr. Katje: Maybe not all of them.

Me: It’s not a marathon if we don’t watch all of them.

Mr. Katje: I don’t even think I have 1 2 or 3.

Me: …I said STAR WARS.

Mr. Katje (deciding to fuck with me): I think I’ve got Insurrection around…

Me: …Star. Wars.

Mr. Katje: Or how about Nemesis?

Me: …who the fuck are you?

Sometimes I don’t even know my husband anymore, man. Sometimes, I tell ya. Today I realized he didn’t even know who Ursula K. LeGuin is! Can you imagine?

Joking aside, we are one movie into our marathon now. About to put on Empire. (I’m livetweeting it — view my puerile humour!) The dogs upstairs are going fucking nuts. We find this quite amusing.

May the 4th be with you!

-Katje

The Great Bookening 2014 (or Katje finally unpacks and puts away ALL THE BOOKS)

Almost all of them. I’ve yet to really unpack Mr. Katje’s books (I did 2 boxes; that’s all), but I’ve done all of my books, which was 30+ boxes so it’s kind of a big deal.

Look, pictures!

The Great Bookening '14: non-fiction and unread fiction.

Non-fiction and unread fiction. Most of the non-fiction is of the sort that will help my writing along (history, culture, books on writing craft, grammar, books of names), but there’s also a lot of theatre and film books on these cases. Also, writing notebooks and proofs. You may notice the cases are overflowing. This is true of most of the bookcases in the house, because I had to sacrifice one when we needed a TV stand.

The Great Bookening '14: God-bothering books.

God-bothering books, as mom calls them. Lots of books on Buddhism, esoteric stuff, spirituality…etc. This is also my meditation corner, hence the Thangka on the back of the door and the little altar/shrine areas.

The Great Bookening '14: read fiction

Read fiction. Double-stacked. Triple-stacked even. (For scale: all these books used to take up five shelves on another bookcase.)

The Great Bookening '14: misc

Misc. mish-mash! This was one of the first cases I filled up and I was in such a “FUCK ALL THESE BOXES” mood that I just jammed whatever the hell up there. Journals at the top, some language books, comics and children’s books, First Nations studies, history, science…the list goes on.

The Great Bookening '14: cooking, crafting, fiction

And the cooking, crafting, herbalism, knitting/crocheting, and Mr. Katje’s books shelves. Not totally full yet — will be when I unpack some more of Mr. Katje’s books.

So I have managed to unpack and put away all my books, and am making a dent in Mr. Katje’s books. It is likely we will have to get another bookcase for the rest of his books.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sleep for forever. Or eat a lot of food and watch NCIS, season 7. (Mr. Katje has gotten me hooked on the show and I expect I will soon catch up to current episodes.)

-Katje

I’m an aunt!

Yesterday Mr. Katje’s sister had her first child, and he and I are now officially uncle and aunt. I’m looking forward to being Cool Aunt Katje who introduces the little tadpole to Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, and all the other myriad fandoms of which I am part. I’m sure Mr. Katje will help me in the engeekifying of our nibling, especially as it comes to Magic the Gathering and other incredibly dorky pursuits (because nibling must be adorkable as well as adorable). We’ve already bought the kid a Batman costume. Because always be yourself — unless you can be Batman. Then, always be Batman.

I haven’t yet met the nibling in person, but from hir pictures ze looks a bit like a gnome. Which makes the gnome hat I’m knitting much more appropriate.

We’ll probably head over for a visit this weekend.

That’s all. I’m an aunt. Mr. Katje is an uncle. It’s pretty cool.

-Katje

The Great Rewashing of 2014

For the past 4 days I have had the worst allergy attack of my life. Runny nose, inflamed eyes, hives, itching constantly — itching so bad I wanted to cut off my skin and set it aflame. I thought I was dying. I thought it was measles (there’s an outbreak in our area and I’m missing one of the shots). I thought I was patient 0 in the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Whatever I thought, I couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t work, could barely keep house. Most times I couldn’t even concentrate on watching TV shows, which uses the least brain power like, ever.

The itching on my feet was the worst. At some point I attacked them with a pumice stone, viciously trying to scratch the itch out of my skin. It didn’t work, but the calluses are much smoother now.

For three days I suffered until finally Mr. Katje kicked me out the door to go get some godsdamned antihistamines, for Zeus’ sweet sake. (Actually I don’t really think Zeus cares if I’m itching or not; I think it’s rather a thing below his sphere of “Shit I Care About”.) I’m sure he would have picked them up for me if his work schedule didn’t prevent him from doing so.

I’m not really sure how I looked to the people who saw me at the grocery store, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Red-faced, red-eyed, frizzy hair. Jittering and rubbing my hands together constantly like a raccoon hoped up on caffeine pills, scratching my wrists and my arms and my neck and face, my head — whatever skin was exposed. I rubbed my legs together like a cricket and did little dances in the aisles, trying desperately to rub the arches of my feet against the inner soles of my shoes, anything to stop the ever present itch from HELL.

I was so out of it from the allergy attack that it took me agonizingly long to find the antihistamines in the pharmacy section, and even longer to decide which one to get. I wanted non-drowsy, but budget won out — I got the 10 dollar cheaper drowsy meds, no-name brand. Perhaps there was non-drowsy no-name for the same price, but I didn’t see it. My eyes and brain were failing fast.

I also picked up some itch relief cream for some immediate relief for my hands. That was more expensive than the allergy pills, and it didn’t work for shit.

Dancing and jittering out of the pharmacy section, I picked up a new 4L bottle of milk on my way to the checkout. I got through as fast as possible and went home as fast as I could, eager to take pills.

1 – 2 pills every 4 to 6 hours. I took 2, because the attack was so bad I knew I’d need it.

A few hours later I fell asleep onto my keyboard. Keyboard face isn’t very attractive but it was so worth it. A little while later I staggered up and went to bed at 6pm. I slept for 4 hours, and went back to sleep at 5 am.

Woke up at 8am today but despite the short sleep sessions, I feel 100 times better than I did yesterday. The allergy pills are fucking miracles. I can finally function again — as you can no doubt tell, seeing as I’m sitting here writing this post.

Mr. Katje and I spent some time trying to figure out what caused the allergy attack. We just moved; there are a lot of new environmental factors in our lives. We narrowed it down to the new laundry detergent being the culprit. I’ve always had sensitive skin, and have always had to use sensitive skin laundry detergents. We didn’t check carefully enough when we picked this one up — we thought it was sensitive skin, because it was scent-free, but it wasn’t. It’s a brand we’ve never bought before — Cheer — and the only reason we got it was because we were at Costco and it was the only scent-free detergent there.

(Both of us get headaches from scented laundry detergents, and often the scents cause allergic skin reactions for me. The only scented laundry detergents I can stand are the Arm and Hammer ones.)

It’s not bugging Mr. Katje, so likely he’ll continue to use it for his work clothes. In order to save my sanity and my skin, I’m switching to the Tide Free and Clear for my clothes, any clothing of his I may borrow, our towels, and our sheets.

Thus is beginning the Great Rewashing of 2014. I’ve done several loads of laundry in the past 3 weeks — we both had dirty clothing from the move and from everyday wear, and our new washer is…incredibly small, compared to our last washers. We even have less clothing than we did, but now we’re doing more laundry.

I have to rewash almost everything I own. There are very few things I’m absolutely sure I haven’t washed in the Cheer. If there’s any doubt in my mind about a piece of clothing, it gets rewashed. I cannot risk another reaction like this.

Today I started with a load of pants and skirts, and ALL my underwear. Those seemed the most important. The last load I’m doing today is our sheets and duvet covers, as soon as Mr. Katje is awake and off to work — these are actually the most important things to rewash, but I couldn’t start with them because of our different sleep schedules. Tomorrow, shirts, socks, and towels. And so on and so forth, till the end of time.

I feel guilty using the washer and dryer so much, and for clothing that’s ostensibly clean. But there’s no other option. I can’t continue to wear clothing that will give me an allergic reaction.

Yes, theoretically I could go to the laundromat. If I could drive. So long as I’m taking the allergy pills, I can’t operate heavy machinery. Until I can stop taking the pills or we can get me the non-drowsy kind, I’m homebound unless Mr. Katje is driving. As his truck is still full of stuff and he’s working tonight, I’m definitely not going anywhere today.

So it’s into battle with the laundry on the battlefield of the living room I go.

Katje dons a suit of armor and goes charging at windmills with zir lance. “The Impossible Dream” plays in the distance. End scene.

Dial M for Mattress

New mattress! Better sleeps ahead.

Today our new bed arrived. This is good, as the old one had two springs sticking out of the sides that tried to murder us every time we got in and out of the damn thing.

This one is not a continuous coil, as the last one was — this one is individual coil pockets. Much safer, and much better on one’s broken back. (One, in this case, being me.)

I am excited for better sleeps and fewer murderful mornings ahead! I think we all need fewer murderful mornings.

Also, I am pleased that although it is raining today the salamanders smartened up and were no where near the front step when the mattress was delivered. Because nothing would have protected them from two box springs and two mattresses being dragged in and out of the house.

One of our suicidal amphibious visitors!

Glad you’re alright, little buddy. Stay safe, amphibious friend!

Life with a Writer

A conversation between Mr. Katje and myself yesterday.

Mr. Katje (holding up pens): My pens.
Me: I have lots of pens.
Mr. Katje: I know, and you are a pen magpie, so if I don’t say these are MY pens they might just disappear on me.
Me (laughing): I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Mr. Katje: CAW CAW CAW
Me: ::bursts into giggles::
Mr. Katje: ADMIT IT
Me: I admit nothing!
Mr. Katje: and yet I hear no denial!

He’s right to be worried. I got my eyes on his Sharpie.

(No, that’s not a euphemism.)

(Maybe.)

6 more weeks of winter, but not 6 more weeks of us half-commonlawing it

That is a very awkward blog post title and I DO NOT APOLOGIZE because I am tired and on a deadline.

Tonight we get the keys to our new place! This means I don’t care if there are six more weeks of winter; Mr. Katje and I will be starting the move-in process tonight. In an hour and a half.

I have been so ready for this moment for so long. We’ve been earnestly looking for a place since July, but before that I was searching Craigslist weekly. I am so happy we finally found a place — and so close to his work!

So I am about to leave the house to go pick up the keys and move in some kitchen items, and then I will probably spend the night at Mr. Katje’s place before coming back here tomorrow morning. Tuesday I’ll bring some more stuff over, and so on and so forth.

Within a few weeks, we’ll be full-commonlawing it. Yeah, that’s right, I’m making commonlaw a verb.

I am incredibly excited. I’m sure Mr. Katje would be showing outward signs of excitement if he were not currently engrossed in a certain Superb Owl.

So, I will see you tomorrow, with a  better post title. Hopefully.

The Stroke of Midnight

At midnight, I was sitting on the couch upstairs, playing around on my computer. Mr. Katje’s folks were watching Downton Abbey, and Mr. Katje was pouring us glasses of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. We raised our glasses in a toast — “Happy new year! Fuck off, 2013!” — and drank. Then I got up and went over to the other couch to give Mr. Katje a very chaste midnight kiss — as he’d had some sugar-free Halls several hours before, and I did not want to risk any lingering aspartame passing to my mouth.

It was a relatively quiet night — no fireworks, just some neighbors banging pots and pans. The cats barely woke up to register the passing of midnight.

Now it’s 4 am. Mr. Katje and I have not yet gone to sleep — he is looking at his “Random Picks” list on Netflix and saying “I feel like I should be insulted” because it’s populated by Barney and more crap he’d never watch. It’s amusing, and I am sitting here laughing at him.

Christmas

Christmas gifts.
Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday, and I’ve come to love it in recent years.

I used to loathe it — having the door slammed in your face by your father while you sobbingly beg him to speak to you for a moment on Christmas Day will kind of ruin the holiday for you, and that wasn’t even the FIRST instance of him doing something like that — and avoided Christmas cheer as much as I could. I was a regular Grinch. I refused to decorate, and only got gifts for people under a sense of obligation and under duress. (The one exception being for my best friend, who loves the holiday — and no matter how much I hated the holiday, I loved her more and wanted to see her happy.)

My feelings of hate towards this holiday started to switch when I met the Ogre. He dresses up as Santa every year, you see, and it seemed weird to hate Christmas when I was madly in love with Santa. Also, suddenly having a big family to spend the holiday with made it seem more like Christmas.

So for the past 3 years I’ve enjoyed Christmas, and I thought I was looking forward to this year’s, too.

Until I realized this week I don’t have any money to get anyone any gifts.

Other people will be getting me gifts. I won’t have any way to repay the favor and will likely just put my name on the gifts the Ogre gives to his family member, as if I had any part in it.

I like being showered in gifts but only if I can reciprocate. I hate feeling like I have nothing to give in return to people who give so much to me. (This is an emotion expressed by the various characters I write, too.)

Often, my fallback would be to give gifts of my own books or things I’ve knit or crocheted — but that’s not really an option this year. I can’t afford to give any more of my books away, and only about 2 people on my gift list would actually appreciate a knitted or crocheted item.

Long story short: I’m praying for a Christmas miracle to happen in the next few days so I can get my loved ones something, at least.

Weekend Sleep Schedule Success

Something I have to deal with on the weekends is my sleep schedule going to hell and gone. My fiance works nights and I, with no schedule set by an outside force, prefer to work days. Ideally I get up at 6am and head to bed at 9 or 9:30pm.

At home, I have no trouble keeping this schedule. When I visit the Ogre, it invariably gets messed up — his computer is in his bedroom, so even if I DO go to sleep on time, I will likely not sleep very well. Furthermore, I don’t really want to go to bed on time. I don’t see him all week. I screw up my schedule to spend more time with him.

This weekend we were able to strike a compromise! I went to bed later and got up at 10:30 each day. I didn’t get as much sleep as I like, but I was able to keep my schedule from straying too much and still spend a lot of time with the Ogre.

So I am celebrating this fact, as it means we can coexist with such wildly different schedules. I had faith we could, but it had not been proven till now.